The Teej festival is an important festival for married women, and much anticipated monsoon festival. It commemorates the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, after she paid a penance of 100 years separation.
The invocation of Parvati's blessing during the festival is believed to bring about continued marital bliss.
July/August, depending on the cycle of the moon. In 2011, the Teej Festival will take place on August 2-3.
Where is the Teej Festival Celebrated:
The Teej festival is widely celebrated in the desert state of Rajasthan. The best place to experience it is in Jaipur, where the festivities are the grandest and most renowned.
How is the Teej Festival Celebrated:
Women dress up in their finest clothes and jewelry to worship the Goddess Parvati. They also get their hands decorated with henna, accompanied by the singing of special Teej festival songs. Swings are fixed to branches of large trees, and the women take turns to joyfully swing on them.
In Jaipur, a spectacular royal procession featuring an idol of the Goddess Parvati (Teej Mata), winds its way through the lanes of the Old City. It comprises antique palanquins, bullock carts pulling cannons, chariots, decorated elephants, horses, camels, brass bands, and dancers. A bit of everything really!
What Rituals Take Place During the Teej Festival:
Girls engaged to be married receive a gift from their future in-laws on the day before the festival. The gift consists of henna, bangles, a special dress, and sweets.
Married daughters are given a number of gifts, clothes and sweets by their mother. After the worship has been completed, they're passed on to the mother-in-law.
What to Expect During the Teej Festival:
The Teej festival is a very uplifting occasion, filled with singing, swinging, and dancing. There's plenty of feasting too.